Scaling up experimental project success with the Community-based Health Planning and Services initiative in Ghana

October 1st, 2007 by admin

Frank K. Nyonator, Agyeman Badu Akosa, J. Koku Awoonor-Williams, James F. Phillips d, Tanya C. Jones

The Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHPS) initiative in Ghana is an example of a strategy for scaling up a field trial to become a national programme. Representing a response to the problem that research projects can inadvertently produce nonreplicable service delivery capabilities, CHPS de- velops mechanisms for expanding national understanding and use of research findings to serve the health service needs of all Ghanaian households. This chapter describes strategies for intro- ducing and developing community health services that were successfully tested in a Navrongo Health Research Centre trial and validated in Nkwanta District for a national programme of reori- enting primary health care from clinics to communities.

Nurses, once confined to clinical duties, are relocated to community-constructed clinics where they live and work. Volunteers support their services by mobilizing traditional social institutions to foster community support. Strategies for decentralized planning ensure that operational details of the programme are adapted to local circumstances. Strengths and limitations of the programme are reviewed and discussed.

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About Ghana CHPS

The Ghana Health Service (GHS) has launched a programme for transforming clinic- based primary health care and reproductive health services to community-based health services. Known as the Community-based Health Planning and Service (CHPS) Initiative, the programme promotes the idea that communities can be active participants in the provision of their own healthcare.